Clinical Assessment

Stage Two, Part Two - Clinical Assessment

Applicants must demonstrate a level of physical fitness required of entry-level firefighters.  Physical fitness is an integral component of firefighting. A commitment to a life-long fitness regime is essential to safely performing firefighter duties. To prepare for the intense physical demands of recruit training and for a career as a firefighter, applicants should already be following and maintaining a total body program specific to the job that focuses on flexibility, cardiopulmonary endurance, muscular strength and power, muscular endurance and healthy body composition.

The Clinical Assessment comprises of the following:

• Pre-Appraisal Screening
• Trunk Flexibility ***will be removed from CTS Testing as of June 1, 2019 
• 60 Second Sit-Up Test ***will be removed from CTS Testing as of June 1, 2019 
• Aerobic Fitness Evaluation-Encapsulated Treadmill Protocol

Important Notes Regarding the Clinical Assessment: Please refrain from eating large meals or consuming large amount of liquids at least 2-3 hours prior to this assessment. DO NOT drink coffee (no caffeine), energy drinks or alcoholic beverages 12 hours prior to your evaluation. These can elevate your blood pressure and/or heart rate which could lead to the inability to pass your pre-screening leaving you unable to proceed with the assessment. Please note:  Delays may occur at any stage of testing so we advise candidates to come prepared with food and water if they feel they will require it throughout the duration of testing. For the purposes of the Clinical Assessment, it is advisable to only consume a small snack and water if required. Avoid all exercise 4 hours prior to this evaluation or intense exercise for 24 hours prior to testing.  Ensure you use the restroom before participating in this assessment. Candidates are encouraged to be clean shaven for this assessment. Facial hair can cause the mask to have an improper seal leading to air leakage and possible failure of this assessment.  

Please Note:  Candidates who are pregnant should obtain medical clearance before registering and participating in the Clinical Assessment.  Please contact the OFAI Administration office for more information.

Pre-appraisal screening

All candidates will participate in the pre-appraisal screening before continuing with the Clinical Assessment.  A series of questions will be asked by the medical officer.  In addition, the Informed Consent for Clinical Evaluation form, the OFAI Medical Questionnaire, and if required, the OFAI Medical Clearance Form, must be completed to identify those candidates for whom certain physical activities might be inappropriate. Important:  Candidates are required to consult with their physician if they answer “Yes” to any questions on the Medical Questionnaire.  Candidates will be required to provide their physician with the Physician Information Booklet and have their physician complete the Medical Clearance Form  prior to being allowed to participate in the Clinical Assessment.

Informed Consent for Clinical Evaluation Form

Medical Questionnaire 

Medical Clearance Form 

Candidates are given up to six readings for blood pressure and resting heart rate.  If after the first reading, your pulse and/or blood pressure exceeds the required level you will be asked to rest in the cafeteria and come back at a specific time.  If your readings are still high after the third attempt, you will be required to sign your consent form before continuing with additional readings. If after six readings, your vitals are still outside of the expected range, you will not be able to continue with your assessment that day.  Please contact the OFAI Administration office to re-schedule your assessment at 905-426-9865.  If you do not pass your pre-appraisal screening, this is not considered a fail, it is just not safe to proceed with physical testing and alternative arrangements can be made. Please note: we do not accept doctor’s notes with respect to your blood pressure and/or heart rate. Your readings must be within the expected range during the pre-appraisal screening in order to proceed with the assessment. This is both for your personal safety and the safety of our Clinicians.

Once each component of the pre-appraisal screening is successfully completed, the candidate is cleared to participate in the clinical assessment.

60 Second Sit-Up Test

Candidates will perform sit-ups at a maximal rate for one minute (60 seconds).Candidates will lie in a supine (face upwards) position and rest their head on a mat. With their arms folded across their chest, candidates will bend their knees at a 90° angle while an evaluator’s assistant anchors their feet. The candidate will move up and down in a continuous manner while bending at their hips. Candidates will perform sit-ups at a maximal rate. This test will last 1 minute in duration.

Violations include failure to touch the knees with elbows and failure to return to the starting position (shoulder blades on the mat).

This assessment is based on the amount of sit-ups completed in 60 seconds based on your age/gender as per the chart below.

60 Second Sit–up Test (Men) (# of sit-ups)


18 – 25

26 – 35

36 – 45

46 – 55

56 – 65


> 35

> 31

> 27

> 22

> 17

60 Second Sit – up Test (Women) (# of sit-ups)


18 – 25

26 – 35

36 – 45

46 – 55

56 – 65


> 29

> 25

> 19

> 14

> 10

Trunk Flexibility

Trunk flexibility or, sit and reach test, is an important functional measure of hip region flexibility, including the lower back and hamstring muscles (the back of the legs). Generally, lack of flexibility in this region is associated with an increased risk of injury, and specifically is implicated in lumbar lordosis, forward pelvic tilt and lower back pain.  The candidate will place one hand on top of the other and extend their arms forward as far as possible along the measuring scale by pushing the measurement cursor.

Candidate will be instructed to stretch the major muscle groups and torso before performing this test. Candidate will remove their shoes and sit down with their legs fully extended and the soles of their feet placed flat against the trunk flex-o-meter, six inches apart. The candidate will place one hand on top of the other and extend their arms forward as far as possible along the measuring scale by pushing the measurement cursor. At the end of the movement, the candidate must hold the position for approximately two seconds to determine maximum trunk flexion. The candidate performs three trials.

Trunk flexibility will be measured in centimeters(cm) and rated on a scale relative to the candidate's gender and age. The candidate is allowed one violation before the test is terminated.  Violations on this test include, bending at the knees, holding your knees down, sliding the measurement cursor.

Flexibility- Sit and Reach (Males) (cm)     


18-19 20-29 30-39 40-49 50-59


≥24 ≥ 25 ≥23 ≥18 ≥16

Flexibility- Sit and Reach (Females) (cm)


18-19 20-29 30-39 40-49 50-59
Pass ≥29 ≥28 ≥27 ≥25


 Aerobic Fitness Evaluation-Encapsulated Treadmill Protocol

The encapsulated treadmill protocol is a progressive, incremental exercise test to exhaustion. This protocol is designed to evaluate the physical work capacities of healthy, physically active individuals. Each test requires a maximal effort. This assessment is completed while wearing firefighting personal protective equipment (PPE) that weighs approximately 23 kg (51 lb), depending on size. This ensemble includes: helmet, flash-hood, leather work gloves, coveralls, pants, jacket and self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA). You will not breathe from the SCBA, but you must carry it.  The VO2 mask is worn during this assessment and peak oxygen uptake (VO2peak) will be measured. However, your VO2 values do not determine whether you pass or fail. You are permitted to walk, jog and/or shuffle as required during this protocol.

Candidates are required to wear shorts and a t-shirt under the coveralls and PPE during this assessment. For safety reasons, running shoes must be worn in place of firefighting boots. Please Note: Candidates are NOT permitted to use their own PPE for this assessment.

During Phase One, the treadmill is set to a speed of 3.5mph and there are gradual increases in grade over a five minute period. This is immediately followed by Phase Two, an eight minute period of constant work at 3.5mph and a 10% grade.

Once Phase Two is complete, you will immediately progress to Phase Three. During this phase the treadmill speed remains at 3.5mph but the grade increases 1% every minute to a maximum of 15%. Once a 15% grade is reached, the speed will increase by 0.5 mph each minute while the grade remains at 15% until you can no longer continue.

Once you have indicated you can no longer continue, you must complete Phase Four, which is 5 minutes on a flat treadmill at a slow speed. The protocol will continue until exhaustion or until other symptoms dictate that the test is terminated. You may stop the test at any time due to fatigue or discomfort.

In order to pass the treadmill test, you must complete the five minute Phase One, the eight minute Phase Two and the five minute Phase Four (for a total of at least 18 minutes). During the test, expired gases are monitored with an automated metabolic measurement system to calculate the rate of oxygen consumption. Heart rate is monitored continuously with a telemetry system.

At the end of the test you will be asked to rate your experience and overall exertion you felt during the test, based on the BORG Scale. This rating is used for clinical purposes only and has no bearing on the results of your assessment

Borg Scale of Perceived Exertion

Cost: $100.00 plus HST

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